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[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

A few years back, there was what I call a “launch business phenomenon” (for lack of a better term) in the Internet Marketing/Information Product Industry. In a nutshell, these were “businesses” that relied on the product launch for  their main source of income.

These entrepreneurs would do 1-2 product launches a year, make 7-figures, and spend the rest of the year delivering the program and planning for the next launch while hanging out at the beach taking selfies to post on Facebook.

Needless to say, it was a great gig. Yes, there were a few intense weeks during the launch itself, but for the rest of the year, you only had to work a few hours a week.

However, like most things that are too good to be true, this idyllic way of earning a living didn’t last. Unfortunately, it also left a lot of unnecessary pain and anguish in its path.

You see, the launch business fed into this whole Internet business myth of working only a few hours a week and cashing in massive checks. Sure, that was true for some people. But, not for most.

But, here’s the thing. A launch business isn’t a business. In fact, I would go so far to say any business that is based around one or two income streams isn’t a real business.

Yes, it’s a way to make money. But, it’s not a business.

So, what IS a business? And do you have one?

To answer that let me ask you a couple of questions.

• Do you have to be personally involved to make money?

This one is probably the biggest. If your only source of income is to be personally involved, maybe even selling your time, you don’t have a business.

What you likely have is a job.

A true business generates income for you regardless of whether you’re personally involved or not. You would be able to go on vacation or take the afternoon off because your kid is sick and not have to worry about income fluctuations. You may even be able to cut how much time you spend working in your business without seeing a drop in your income.

• Do you have multiple sources of not only income but also prospects?

Most stable businesses have multiple ways of finding new customers. They are usually advertising on multiple platforms, not just Facebook. They’re using a variety of marketing campaigns and strategies, not just one complicated funnel or one or two product launches.

They also tend to have multiple offers and are making money selling multiple products and services.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start spending thousands of dollars on advertising or creating dozens and dozens of products, but it does mean not putting all your eggs in one marketing strategy basket OR one product basket.

There is a bit of a fine line here between spreading yourself too thin because you have too many products and services and leaving yourself too vulnerable, because the vast majority of your income relies on one or two main strategies or products. I would encourage you to slowly add marketing strategies and product offers to your mix, to make sure you ARE getting a return on your time and money investment, and then you can also slowly add to your team to support what you’re doing.

Of course, all that said, maybe you’re not interested in building a business. Maybe you really are just looking for an income stream. For instance, maybe you’re a massage therapist or a freelance graphic designer and you love what you do and only really want to sell your time. If that’s the case, then go for it.

But, just don’t confuse what you’re doing with building a business.

What you’ve done is create a way to bring income into your life, which is fabulous while it lasts. And, never forget streams have a way of drying up pretty quickly.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

My Big 2017 Marketing Campaign Success Story

My Big 2017 Marketing Campaign Success Story

In the fall of 2016, I came to a realization. The main marketing campaign I had been focusing on for much of my entrepreneurial life wasn’t working the way I had intended.

This wasn’t a big surprise. For years, I had been watching the trends in the information Marketing/Internet Marketing industries and I could see we were headed for a reckoning.

And I had a feeling the reckoning would be sooner rather than later.

“Business as usual” (at least the way it had been defined in this wacky online world I had chosen to do business in) wasn’t going to be as effective as it once was.

It was time to change to a different marketing campaign.

And, that’s what I spent 2017 building from scratch—a new marketing campaign for my business that was based on a solid, long-term marketing strategy that, once I got it in place, would continue to bring ideal clients, customers, and buyers into my business organically … and I wouldn’t even have to spend advertising dollars to make it work. (Although advertising certainly would make speed up the process, it wasn’t a requirement.)

It took a year to finally start seeing results.

I’m going to say right now it wasn’t easy.

In fact, there were times it was downright frustrating. Mostly because I had to battle my secret fears and demons. There’s nothing like having all your inner doubts surface six months into a long-term marketing strategy, even though you KNOW it may take months and months to see results, and you’ve told yourself you’re good with it.

This isn’t going to work.

You’re wasting your time.

Every single successful business owner you know would tell you you’re being foolish. Maybe they are right.

Maybe it’s time to chuck in the towel and do something else.

And on and on.

Nevertheless, I kept going.

Even though my fear-based emotions kept trying to stop me.

Fear, worry, doubt, shame, anger, even grief.

I felt the emotions, let them move through me, and kept going.

So, yes, I will share precisely what I did, but before I do that, I want to set the stage a bit. Because what I did may not be the right strategy for you and your specific business, goals, and dreams.

And, what I DON’T want to happen is for you to read what I did, and then dismiss it. “Oh, that’s all?” Because if you do, I feel like you’d be missing the larger point, which is:

Now, more than EVER, you need to have a long-term marketing strategy in place if you want to have any hope in building a solid, successful, profitable business over the long haul.

HOWEVER, that does NOT mean it’s your ONLY marketing strategy. Long-term marketing strategies are NOT designed to bring in money right now. They’re designed to attract a steady stream of warm ideal clients, customers, and buyers to your business, which of course puts your business on a lot more solid footing than if you don’t have a warm audience of ideal prospects who love to hear from you. But they’re not designed to bring in cash NOW.

So, if you’re looking for an immediate cash infusion, you may need to modify my marketing campaign so it’s less aggressive. This way, you’ll have time to focus on short-term marketing strategies to keep income flowing in, at the same time.

Okay, let’s talk marketing campaign.

How I Decided on My New Marketing Campaign

1. One of my big missions is to get the love-based philosophy out into the world in a massive way. Therefore, for me, it was important that the marketing campaign I chose not only be scalable, but also built for the masses.

For you, that may not be the case. Maybe you just want to have a profitable coaching business and are happy if you have a dozen or so highly-invested coaching clients at any one time. Following my marketing campaign may be overkill for you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my BIG vision for my business?
  • How big do I really want to take it?
  • Do I really want a seven-fugure business or a multi-seven-figure business (which requires hiring a big team)? Or is something smaller more my style?
  • Is the marketing campaign I’ve chosen a match for my vision?

(Note: My “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” is full of questions like these to help you get very clear on what you want to invest your time, money, energy and life force building. It’s free and you can grab your copy at the below link.)

2. Next, I got very clear on my message and who I am here to serve. For me, this was a no-brainer, because my mission is to get the love-based philosophy out into the world. I knew whatever I chose had to focus around that message.

For you, the questions you need to be asking for yourself:

  • Am I clear on my message?
  • Do I HAVE a clear message that I can easily communicate in my marketing?

3. Lastly, I set a clear goal based on the different ways money would flow to me using the marketing campaign—everything from books and low-end products to sponsorships to one-on-one services. I was very clear on how I would fund the campaign not only while I was building it, but also what it would look like once it was built.

For you, ask yourself:

  • Am I clear on my different offers?
  • What type of business model do I want to build? (I.e. Are you just interested in one-on-one services, or do you want to sell more products and group programs, or a combination, or what exactly?)
  • Will this marketing campaign fit into my business model?

Okay, are you wondering what my marketing campaign was, precisely?

Drum roll please …

I started a new blog from scratch.

(Yes, I can hear everyone saying, “Well, geez, is that all?”)

I started this blog, the LoveBasedBiz.com around December2016/January 2017.

Why?

Well, my first blog, which is on my MichelePW.com site, was actually a very old blog with some very old (and valuable) back links. I’m still getting organic traffic to that blog even now without any new posts for over a year.

But, I had made tons and tons of mistakes with it as well.

I felt like those mistakes were hindering my organic SEO reach—I had reached a ceiling because of them. (Another way to look at this of course is that, despite my mistakes, I still ended up with more organic traffic than that blog likely deserves.)

Plus, there was just so much old energy in that blog that I didn’t think a fresh approach would overcome.

I wanted to start fresh. Yes, even though I heard the same things many of you do … “It’s too difficult to start a new blog and get any organic traffic from it …. Blogs are dead … They’re too much work/take too long/not worth the return on investment.”

(Not to mention blogs are unsexy and not nearly as hot as complicated Facebook ad funnels. Right?)

The difference is, I didn’t really believe any of that.

I KNOW content marketing still works. And, it’s likely ALWAYS going to work (especially if you focus on crafting high-quality content and not just crap you throw up really fast).

I also know, since I can see it first-hand with my old blog, that once you’ve got a blog established, visitors continue to visit … EVEN if you stop posting.

Now, there’s no question a blog does require work and commitment. And, I knew it was a long-term strategy, so I knew it would likely take me a year (or longer) to get a fresh new one set up.

AND the past six months were still brutal. I doubted myself and this course of action, wondering if I was wasting precious time that I should have been focusing on something else.

But I kept going.

Other Things I Did to Set My New Blog up for Success:

  1. I was very strategic about my posting.
  2. I set up a schedule where I was posting three times a week—a podcast episode, a written blog post, and a video blog post. (Although, I must confess, there were a few months near the end of 2017 when I dropped down to only two posts a week, because it was difficult to keep up with the three posts a week when I wasn’t yet seeing results).
  3. I was consistent and followed my schedule.

My Results

After only about one year, I’m finally getting some decent SEO/organic traffic momentum, plus my overall visitors are almost equal to my old blog’s heyday (when I was posting regularly) AND I have A LOT more page views (probably triple). While those are great wins, what’s even better is the FINANCIAL win—I wanted to more sell more of my love-based books, and that’s precisely what’s been happening.

If you’d like to learn more about what I did, check out this post where I walk you through the precise blog strategy I used to set up this blog for success, Clearly it’s a great resource for anyone who is interested in having their own successful blog, but I also included a few takeaways for everyone, no matter what you pick as your main long-term marketing strategy.

Main Takeaways

  1. Stay the course. Don’t give up in the middle, even if you have a lot of doubts and fears come up. If you know what you’re doing is going to take some time to take off, then give it the time it needs. (And, quite honestly, most successful strategies in business OR in life need time to fully mature.)
  2. Be wary of what you see in advertising and marketing messages. There’s one right now I see on Facebook that talks about how building an audience is a waste of time. (This one irks me so much I’m going to do a full post on it in the future.) Remember, marketing gurus need to make money, too, and as blogs DO take both time and work to get going, it’s an easy tactic to cut down in favor of whatever they’re trying to sell you. So, don’t believe the hype. Do you own research on what you think is the best marketing strategy for you, and give it the time and love it needs to succeed.
  3. 3. No matter what marketing campaign you pick, being strategic—setting up a regular schedule and staying the course—WILL help you succeed.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can fall in love with your Internet marketing strategies, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

[Video] Flip It! Are Product Launches All That and a Bag of Chips?

[Video] Flip It! Are Product Launches All That and a Bag of Chips?

If you’ve spent any time in the Internet Marketing space, you’ve likely heard an entrepreneur (or two) brag about how much money they made from a product launch.

You may have heard:

“It was a 6-figure launch.”

Or …

“I filled my mastermind program in just three days.”

Or …

“I made $50,000 in sales in a week!”

And these things may be true. But how often do entrepreneurs actually get these awesome results? And is it possible to generate these results over and over again?

In other words, what about the dark side of product launches, the side nobody talks about?

“I invested a month’s worth of income into that launch and didn’t make a single sale. Well, besides the one product my mom bought.”

Or …

“I worked for an entire year to pull that off, and I made a couple hundred bucks.”

Or …

“I don’t think anyone even realizes I’m selling something!”

As you can imagine (or as you may have experienced), product launches do fail.

I’ve been on both sides of this scenario, and during my tenure as a business owner, I’ve put a lot of time into studying what makes a product launch successful, and what causes it to fail.

You probably know by now that I’m a big proponent of product launches, for reasons other than financial.

That being said, it’s important to create and plan product launches thoughtfully, so they’re doing what you want them to do, whether that is to build your expert status or open the door for another, bigger launch in the near future.

If you do them right, you can really boost your business.

If you don’t, you can end up feeling trapped in them.

So what do you think?

Are they all that and a bag of chips?

Watch this episode of Flip It! and decide for yourself.

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.